Wearing my Ladies Spring Mantle

Wearing my Ladies Spring Mantle

Front - lined and ready to wear

I loved sewing up this pattern.  The shape is so graceful and easy to wear.

Gusset Insertion

I learned to sew in a gusset.  I did try to do this by machine on my muslin and it looked horrible!  In the end I just iron the seam allowances on the gusset, pinned to the garment and hand-sewed.  It was easy and looked great.  I did a small zig-zag by machine afterwards to ensure strength.  It doesn’t look quite as nice but I didn’t quite trust my handsewing and you don’t really see it anyway.

Pattern adjustment

My biggest pattern adjustment was to take the flap of extra material out of the top of my shoulder (see first post) I split the patttern piece from side neck straight across the shoulder and down the arm.  Then I overlapped the neck edge the amount needed and let the other end open up toward the sleeve edge.  In the end, the flap was gone, I had a little more ease under my arm and the sleeve seemed to hang a little straighter.  I made side and back adjustments for my particular figure and ended up with a nice shape.

Final fit check pre-lining

I’m also showing you my lining, a blue polyester.  Normally I don’t care for unnatural fibers but this is very soft and I need something under the wool. It also gives me ideas for a lingerie/bedjacket piece, unlined.


I will be putting trim on this version.  I was a little worried I wouldn’t have enough leftovers for wool trim. I had 2 yards of 60″ wool which leaves lots of material to make the trim.  Even after cutting out the lining at 44″ wide, I think there would probably be enough to piece the trim.

I will be able to sew again next Friday so will try to get the trim applied then and have some pictures taken with it all done.

Making a Ladies Spring Mantle

Making a Ladies Spring Mantle

This is my first experience making up a mantle or an old pattern from a magazine. I had never heard of a mantle before and I think this one looks quite elegant.

It is pattern #0189 Ladies Spring Mantle from La Mode magazine.  I am test-sewing this pattern for the VPLL 1912 Project. http://vpll1912project.org/

Ladies Spring Mantle provided by VPLL

The pattern piece is a crazy-wonderful looking thing.  It’s just the one piece with a gusset.

0189 Pattern Shape

I imagine a wool would drape very nicely and am still contemplating the trim.  I definitely want to do the trim but not sure if I will have enough of the wool. I used 2 yds of the lining material @45″ wide for the mantle.   I have exactly 2 yds of the wool, so not sure if the scraps will do enough trim…
I’m making the final product in a medium weight wool. It’s beige, woven and feels so soft, like cashmere.  I’m lining it because I’m allergic to wool and think it will hang nicely as well.  My lining is a light cotton broadcloth that I will sew up first to check the fit, if I have to make alterations and cut it out again I can as I’ve got lots of it.

So, for now I’ve basted up the body and inserted the gusset on the left side only. I read the direction on putting in the gusset (omg) and just put it in as I’d seen in other old garments. It was fine. The garment hung much nicer with the gusset than without. You can see in the pictures that the front is lovely but the back had some really large buckling at the shoulder blade. With the gusset there is a small buckle, as much as I would allow with a kimono sleeve. It fits better on me by the looks of it.  The back flares out gently at the bottom. I think I will leave the back alone for now.

The rest fits quite nicely.  I am a 36 bust and so is the pattern! This one is a winner for sizing. The only alteration I may make is at the top of my shoulder. I have very square shoulders (my mannequin has lovely sloped shoulders so the pattern fits her quite well) So I could take a dart of fabric from the neck, tapered to the top of the shoulder. I may take the dart on the lining and then try to steam ease the wool onto it but I’ll see how it looks when I get there.

So, that’s it for now.  If you have any ideas how I might treat the extra fabric on top of my shoulder please let me know.  I would love a suggestion.